Medina FD reports record year in calls

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 January 2014 at 12:00 am

File photos by Tom Rivers – Firefighters respond to a fire on Nov. 12 at a former carriage barn on the Walsh Alley off Prospect Street.

MEDINA – The Medina Fire Department responded to a record number of calls in 2013 – 370 fire and 2,385 EMS calls. That is about four times the call volume as in 2006, the last year before Medina took over the ambulance service in western Orleans from Rural Metro.

In 2006, prior to taking over EMS transport services, the Fire Department answered about 700 calls for service. At that time, department had seven career firefighters and 20 call firefighters. Currently, the Fire Department operates with 13 career firefighters and 25 call firefighters.

The Village of Medina Board of Trustees commissioned Emergency Services Consulting Inc. to conduct a Fire Based EMS Feasibility Study in 2006, said firefighter Steve Cooley, the department’s public information officer. The study estimated that there would be approximately 1,500 annual calls for service. That is far below the 2,755 calls in 2013. The department is seeking a federal grant to cover the costs of adding two paid firefighters.

Medina firefighters Josh Wolck, left, and Matt Jackson serve as the honor guard for a new firefighters’ memorial in front of City Hall. The memorial was dedicated on Sept. 28.

The ambulance service revenue received to date for 2013 is $913,000, making the average monthly revenue about $76,000. The department’s budget for 2013 was approximately $1.2 million. Village of Medina taxpayers made up the difference for the fire and EMS services.

The department is on pace to top the 2013 numbers. As of Jan. 21, the Fire Department responded to 208 calls for service, which is up from the 135 calls for service during the same time frame in 2013.

Photo courtesy of Tim Jaccard – The Medina Fire Department in June was honored with “Torch of Life Awards” for the department’s role in accepting a surrendered baby on May 25. Pictured, form left: Medina Fire Chief Todd Zinkievich; Tim Jaccard, president and director of the AMT Children of Hope Foundation – Baby Safe Haven; and Medina firefighter Dennis Pollock. Pollock accepted a newborn baby from a mother in crisis. The baby was then transported to United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia.